So far this year, the pairing of Greg Ives and Chase Elliott is paying off for JR Motorsports as the pair have a win and six top 10s in the first seven races this season as they lead the points.
Taking the win at Texas Motor Speedway, it displays that the pair is gelling quickly this year, which Ives says is good to have. Ives says part of the process has been thanks to the maturity that Elliott has shown despite being only 18-years-old.
“When we’re in discussion and when he gets to the race track, he’s focused on the job that we have to do and we’re able to have conversations about, you know, what the track is going to do, what the set-up is in the car,” Ives commented. “He does a good job of being older than he actually is. Very good student of the sport, and it’s — it feels really good for myself to be part of this situation at JR Motor Sports and to be paired up with Chase.”
Being experienced with a season under his belt after working with Regan Smith, Ives is taking a simple approach this year in starting to work with his young driver. Ives stated post-Texas win that he normally enters the weekend with a basic set-up under the car so that way Elliott can get some laps under his belt early in the weekend. After trying some different lines on track, then they start to work on tweaking it to Elliott’s direct liking.
“It’s just a little bit of work in progress, you know, with all the guys, having Ernie (Cope) and Ryan (Pemberton) and guys at the shop there doing one heck of a job allowing us to go seven-post and doing a lot of things that we need to do to prove that we’re a team capable of running up front,” Ives added.
One of the benefits that also helps each weekend is Elliott does his homework before hand in learning about the race track so he can get right to work with Ives.
“I don’t have to overload him with, you know, what I think the race track is going to do, he already talked to be Kevin, Dale, Jimmy, all those guys and the liens on them pretty heavily and obviously probably one of the best is probably Bill,” Ives explained. “So it’s — I just try to point out little things, you know, like don’t slide through the pit box because the tires get wore out and your breaking power and stopping power isn’t really there and just small little details that somebody that’s driving the car may not bring up, but I’ve experienced a couple of times when we slid through the box and it’s hurt us, you know, on pit road and hurt us with spots going back out there. As long as he does his homework I don’t have to overload him. We can have a conversation about it.